ARTISTIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS INC.
The company's weaving tradition can be traced back to Friedrich Kluge, (1798-1881) who lived in what was then the Kingdom of Saxony. His son, Karl Kluge, having learned the weaving trade from his family, married into a family weaving business in Bielefeld, which was located in western Saxony, an important silk and cotton fabric manufacturing center.
Kluge later moved to Krefeld near the Holland border, another important textile center. There he established his own factory, weaving broadloom jacquard fabrics and narrow jacquard trimmings, the latter being the forerunners of the modern woven label.
After his death, Kluge's five sons expanded the business under the name Gebruder Kluge (Kluge Brothers). To promote sales, the brothers decided that each would move to a different country. So, in 1887, one brother went to Italy, one to Sweden, another to Austria and another to Russia. The fifth brother, Adolf, went to the U.S., where he later founded Artistic.
Once in the U.S., Adolf Kluge began operating as Kluge Brothers, importing from the family firm in Krefeld. He then moved to a small factory on West Thirty-Fourth Street in New York City. Adolph subsequently bought the buildings and the dam, as a source of power, from the Smith Fuze Works along the Wanaque River in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. He then found a good source of skilled workers in nearby Paterson, NJ, another major silk textile center " and his own U.S. company was born.
When Kluge died in 1919, leadership of the company fell to his elder son, Albert, since his younger son, Willard, showed little interest in the business.
Over the years, Artistic expanded to meet the growing needs of the apparel industry. When Adolf Kluge first came to the U.S., there was an explosion of "ready to wear" garments for the millions of immigrants who were pouring into America. As such, he found a ready market for jacquard woven labels and, after 1889, began making silk and cotton labels in ever greater numbers to the exclusion of narrow fabric trimmings.
By 1911, the company employed over 500 skilled textile workers and had more than 300 "power looms" weaving colorful advertisements for such emerging companies as Levi Strauss & Co. and Sears Roebuck & Co.
anticipating the migration south of many textile manufacturers, Artistic built a
200-loom weaving mill in Pittsboro, N.C. The company's third factory was built
in 1962 in centrally-located Holdrege, Nebraska, where it remains the only woven
label facility in the Midwest.